For the last fourteen weeks, since lockdown began and Leeds Young Film Festival was canceled, we have been recommending ten family films to watch each week, to help you navigate the huge amount of content available for free on TV and across the most popular streaming platforms. These have included many new and little-known films, along with some family favourites.

As lockdown restrictions are being lifted, life is returning to (some kind of) normal and cinemas are re-opening, we have decided to reduce the recommendations each week to just a few titles, all of which will be available to watch for free (with a TV licence).

Alongside these weekly recommendations, we have also created a list of the top ten family film recommendations that are available on the most popular streaming platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+) that you can watch anytime, as long as you have a subscription. You can find these top ten lists here.

In addition you may want to check out our recommended list of #BlackLivesMatter family films, aimed at entertaining, informing and showing positive black representation on screen and/or behind the camera.

Here are the selections for w/c Friday 3 July.

Young Sherlock Holmes (Film4, Sat 4 Jul, 3:45pm)

Dir. Barry Levinson, 1985, USA, 109 mins, Cert PG

Young Sherlock Holmes

Written by Chris Colombus, who went on to direct the first two Harry Potter films, this teenage adaptation of Sherlock Holmes imagines how the famous detective began his career in crime fighting.

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson meet as boys in an English Boarding school. When people start having inexplicable delusions that lead to their deaths, Holmes decides to investigate.

The film includes the first fully computer-generated photorealistic animated character, a knight composed of elements from a stained glass window. This effect was the first CG character to be scanned and painted directly onto film using a laser. The effect was created by Lucasfilm's John Lasseter, who would go on to become the chief creative officer at Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Read more on IMDB here.

The Wolves of Willougby Chase (Talking Pictures, Sun 5 Jul, 2:00pm)

Dir. Stuart Orme, 1989, UK, 98 mins, Cert PG

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

Based on the novel by Joan Aitken, who was a renown English writer specialising in supernatural fiction and children's alternative history novels.

Set in the nineteenth century, during the rule of James III, two cousins are taken from their comfortable home to a snow-swept orphanage while the evil governess plots to steal their uncle's fortune.

A little known series 'Black Hearts in Battersea' followed in 1995, based on Aitken's novel of the same name.

Read more on IMDB here.

Casper (ITV2, Sun 5 Jul, 4:35pm)

Dir. Brad Silberling, 1995, USA, 100 mins, Cert PG


Casper is based on the famous cartoon series, Casper the Friendly Ghost, which was made between 1945 - 1959. It has an A list cast including a young Christina Ricci and a host of cameo appearances including Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson and Steven Spielberg.

An afterlife therapist and his daughter meet a friendly young ghost named Casper when they move into a crumbling mansion in order to rid the premises of wicked spirits.

Casper was the first feature film to have a fully CGI character in the lead role.

Read more on IMDB here.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (E4, Sun 5 Jul, 6:05pm)

Dir. Francis Lawrence, 2013, USA, 146 mins, Cert 12A

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The second film in the Hunger Games film series, based on the dystopian novels by Suzanne Collins.

Twelve months after Katniss and Peeta's victory sparks hope and possible rebellion from the citizens of Panem, the two are targeted by the Capitol that wants to quell the revolution before it is too late.

Catching Fire is the highest-grossing film in the Hunger Games series and the first film with a female lead since The Exorcist in 1973 to top the yearly box office in the USA.

Read more on IMDB here.

The Jungle Book (BBC1, Sat 4 Jul, 5:00pm)

Dir. Jon Favreau, 2016, UK / USA, 106 mins, Cert PG

The Jungle Book

A stunning live action / CGI remake of the beloved 1967 animated Disney film, that manages to retain all the charm, spirit and best songs of the original, whille adding more realism and peril.

After a threat from the tiger Shere Khan forces him to flee the jungle, a man-cub named Mowgli embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of panther Bagheera and free-spirited bear Baloo.

Although set in India, all principle photography was done on sound stages in Hollywood. Over 1000 remote jungle locations in India were photographed and used as a reference in post-production.

Read more on IMDB here.


Some of the films that we've recommended on terrestrial TV over the last few weeks are repeated again this weekend. Here's another chance to catch them if you missed them first time round.

Back to the Future Part III (Film4, Sat 4 Jul, 1:15pm)
Pete's Dragon (BBC2, Sat 4 Jul, 2:15pm)
Stuart Little (Ch4, Sun 5 Jul, 2:05pm)
Shrek (ITV2, Sat 4 Jul, 5:00pm)